Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When a mother and daughter are found brutally murdered in 19th century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields makes a startling discovery: the crime resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper—part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. But even as Poe is questioned by police, another grisly murder occurs, also inspired by a popular Poe story. Realizing a serial killer is on the loose using Poe’s writings as the backdrop for his bloody rampage, Fields enlists the author’s help in stopping the attacks. But when it appears someone close to Poe may become the murderer’s next victim, the stakes become even higher and the inventor of the detective story calls on his own powers of deduction to try to solve the case before it’s too late. (Relativity Media) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Apr 26, 2012
    This may conjure up unpleasant memories of Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" movies, but Ritchie could learn a lot from director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta); this is multiplex fare to be sure, but McTeigue manages to popularize 19th-century literature without completely vulgarizing it.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 25, 2012
    The Raven is period piece fun - at least until it realizes there has to be a conclusion. That's where a certain amount of inevitable disappointment sets in. The curse of the two-hour murder mystery is that the ending never seems to justify the build-up.
  3. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 27, 2012
    rRegrettably falls prey to its grand and grisly ambitions - it's neither grand nor grisly enough to seriously satisfy Poe-ish cravings for murder, mystery and literary allusions.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 25, 2012
    When I heard that John Cusack had been cast for this film, it sounded like good news: I could imagine him as Poe, tortured and brilliant, lashing out at a cruel world. But that isn't the historical Poe the movie has in mind. It is a melodramatic Poe, calling for the gifts of Nicolas Cage.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Apr 30, 2012
    Likely to disappoint both literary aficionados and action-thriller fans, the film neither captures the creepy atmospheres of Poe's influential writing nor works on its own.
  6. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Mar 16, 2012
    As implausible as the stars' gleaming choppers.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 26, 2012
    This wannabe Sherlockian thriller is like a night spent at Madame Tussauds, watching mannequins strangle other mannequins.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 7 out of 35
  1. May 7, 2012
    Reading The Raven, after having seen the movie. I expected mediocrity, but was shockingly surprised by the elaborate plot twists and inclusion of several of Poe's major works. Expand
  2. May 9, 2012
    Great date night movie. My wife and I saw it together and both enjoyed it. I wouldn't say it was a cinematic masterpiece but a thoroughly enjoyable film. I appreciated how contemporary it felt while still being set a century and a half ago. CusacK is well cast. Expand
  3. Apr 27, 2012
    Gripping, Suspenseful, and Emotional in all the right places, James McTeigue's "The Raven" is a thrilling motion picture which presents in depth characters and a well-made plot portrayed by the skilled actor John Cusack. While the movie itself rarely falls flat in certain scenes, the appearance of Mr. Poe and other characters isn't as canon as some would want it. Despite these fallacies, The Raven will keep you entertained to the end. Expand
  4. Apr 30, 2012
    While The Raven was not a great movie, it held my interest, & the critics are being particulary harsh, in my opinion. John Cusack is always worth the price of admission & his performance in this film holds up. It is a shame the other actors weren't given a bit more to do. Expand
  5. Oct 20, 2014
    While this movie certainly has it's flaws, it is not without some enjoyment. The plot is only sloppy once, the rest is actually quite enjoyable. I recommend it, but watch it knowing what your walking into it. Expand
  6. Mar 18, 2013
    On the plus side, it’s a pretty well made film with all the technical stuff, costumes and sets done very well. On the downside, the dialogue is terrible with everyone trying to sound like they’re straight from a Poe story or poem; it really didn’t work for me I’m afraid. This did have one positive side effect though; it gave John Cusack the opportunity to do some excellent scenery chewing over-acting; which I found quite funny in places. Sadly it’s a film that promised much but failed to deliver. I found I had no connection with any of the characters. I have not read much Poe and so I didn’t get many of the many nods to his work. Over all; quite disappointing.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED

    My score: 5.3/10
  7. Apr 30, 2012
    I can't in good conscience countenance any flick that so blatantly rips off a Poe-inspired novel's essential plot and premise. And then simply transports said plot and premise from the novel's original contemporary setting in San Francisco to its fabricated period piece location of Baltimore. But the ripped off plot and premise stays intact: a psychotic serial killer inspired by Poe, copy-catting Poe-conceived crimes. If you don't believe it, objectively check out the book description of this Poe-inspired novel at

See all 35 User Reviews